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By Connor Barrett & Armon Haghighat

 

The AZ Pilot Life Crew completed a personal trip to KPGA over a year ago! This personal trip was so much fun, that we decided that we needed to share the airport and area with other pilots!

The KPGA fly-in consisted of two major tours. Pilots and guests visited Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, two of the natural wonders of Northern Arizona.

antelope canyon and horseshoe bend jpga fly in participants

Prior to departing for our first stop, all the participants met at Classic Air FBO. Here we had check-in, a pilots meeting, and various breakfast items to enjoy. A total of 16 participants gathered for this day of adventure and exploring.

The transportation vans were waiting, and we were eager to start the tours. Departing KPGA airport, we headed southeast of town towards Horseshoe Bend. Here we had a self-guided tour where we hiked along a short trail leading to a sandstone bend formed by the forces of erosion. The huge arc of the bend makes the shape of a horseshoe; this is where the name Horseshoe Bend is derived. Standing on the edge of a cliff, leaning on the safety rail, you could peer down on the Colorado River as it carves its way deeper and deeper into the sandstone rock. Horseshoe bend is just south and down river of Lake Powell, and is where the mouth of the Grand Canyon starts to form.

antelope canyon and horseshoe bend jpga fly in from above

After group photos and exploration of the cliffs above Horseshoe Bend, we departed to the State 48 tavern. This Arizona grown pub served all pilots and fly-in guests flares of traditional American food, southwestern inspired dishes, and classic pub grub. Conversing for almost two hours with fellow pilots around a lunch table is always a great place to hear stories from all walks of life, all sharing one common interest, aviation.

antelope canyon and horseshoe bend jpga fly in from below

With the vans waiting, we paid our lunch tabs and drove east of town to Ken's Tours of Antelope Canyon. This is where the start of our second tour began. We were required to split up into two different groups; we then descended into the belly of the sandstone slot canyon. Our tours of Antelope Canyon lasted up to an hour and fifteen minutes, where we walked in the bottom of the slot canyon, marveling at what erosion has created over thousands of years. The majority of people stated this tour was the highlight of their day, and everyone agreed they would return here again!

Departing back to the airport is a must for every day trip, but this means that we completed another successful and safe fly-in. AZ Pilot Life and the Arizona Pilots Association is dedicated to supporting General Aviation for all aviation enthusiasts in the state of Arizona. We plan on making KPGA an annual fly-in, so that everyone will have a chance to experience these natural wonders of Northern Arizona.

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